- Seattle, WA
With a clear purpose of inspiring everyone to run their path to a better self, Brooks Running reported record third quarter global revenue up 49 percent year over year, leading to a 2020 outlook of 27 percent growth. These results reflect the brand’s careful navigation through the global COVID-19 pandemic and related economic downturn, clear performance positioning, and ability to fulfill demand across channels.
“We believe in the positive power the run can create in someone’s day and its additive benefits over time. It is also an effective antidote in troubling times, and we’ve seen that prove true as running participation increased since March,” said Jim Weber, CEO at Brooks Running. The 2020 running boom created amidst the pandemic has been driven by people running for mental and physical health. According to Brooks sales data, the brand gained 1.6 million runners through October of this year. “We have worked alongside our retail, factory and distribution partners to ensure those who want to run can find the product they trust and need to bring positive energy into their lives.”
Despite challenges and uncertainty felt around the world caused by COVID-19 and an ensuing volatile economy, Brooks came into the global pandemic with the best positioned brand in running and very strong product lines. Market share growth accelerated in Q3 as the brand added new runners. According to The NPD Group, Brooks captured the largest share increase year-to-date through September in the U.S. adult performance running footwear category, gaining 4 share points versus the same period in 2019.*
Run Research Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
Brooks is working hard to be agile, curious and resilient during this time of uncertainty. Its Run-Sight Lab research team increased its runner engagement cadence and quickly identified a mindset shift for those running amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many of whom are leveraging the run for its mental benefits rather than running to achieve a fitness, distance or event-related goal. With this insight, the brand quickly adjusted its communication approach and reinforced its omni-channel distribution support to connect authentically with runners and make sure they can find Brooks whenever and wherever and they choose to research and shop.
E-Commerce & Retailer Growth
Brooks’ digital sales, both through brooksrunning.com and retail partners, flexed from less than 35 percent of sales in 2019 to a peak of 82 percent of all sales this past April, and has since stabilized at 42 percent of sales, up 7 points from pre-COVID levels. As pandemic precautions seized brick and mortar retail, the brand increased support for same-day delivery and curbside pick-up programs for retail partners, helping them get product into runners’ hands in a safe and efficient manner.
Brooks continues to innovate its product offerings for superior fit, feel and ride, mile after mile after mile. During the past 10 months, the brand introduced new footwear styles including the Hyperion Tempo and Hyperion Elite training and racing shoes, and the Catamount trail shoe. The brand also revolutionized what run bra support means with the launch of its Dare Run Bra collection and recently unveiled the brand new Run Visible collection, featuring science-backed technology that helps runners be seen in low- and no-light conditions. Existing franchise styles continue to gain traction with trusted shoes like the Ghost and Adrenaline GTS up 25% and 17% year over year, respectively.
Over the past year, Brooks’ brand awareness and familiarity amongst runners and retailers has continued to increase as evidenced by industry surveys and reports. According to Running USA’s 2020 National Running Survey that looked at 2019 data, Brooks leads the pack at more than 2.5 times the next competitor when it comes to favorite brand of running shoes amongst those who run. Miro AI, in its Q4 2019 report released late January, analyzed event photography containing nearly 260,000 runners at races of all sizes across the U.S.; for the full year 2019, Brooks was the No. 1 brand on feet at 24% of participants, 4 points ahead of the next brand**. In Germany, Brooks was awarded “Brand of the Year” in the running category by SAZ Sports for the fourth year in a row. Amongst competitors, SAZ ranked Brooks first on service, brand values, partnership behavior, products and sustainability.
*Source: The NPD Group/U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Based on Dollar Sales, January-September 2020
**Source: Miro AI Q4 2019 Shoe Brand Report (U.S. Market)
About Brooks Running Company
Brooks Running sells its performance footwear, apparel, run bras and accessories in more than 50 countries worldwide. Brooks’ purpose is to inspire everyone to run their path to a better self by creating the best gear, tools and experiences. Founded 1914, Brooks is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and is headquartered in Seattle. Visit https://www.brooksrunning.com for more information or follow us on Twitter (@brooksrunning) and Instagram (@brooksrunning).